All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/5/2016

Guests: Anthony Scaramuci, John Harwood, Stephen Moore; Sherrod Brown, Al Gore, Sherrilyn Ifill

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 5, 2016 Guest: Anthony Scaramuci, John Harwood, Stephen Moore; Sherrod Brown, Al Gore, Sherrilyn Ifill

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- does he want a professional, an ambitious amateur, a realist, a neocon? Nobody knows if Trump even knows the difference between the two or even cares that he doesn`t. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.


MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the conversation that happened this week with the President of Taiwan was a courtesy call.

HAYES: First, it was a courtesy call. Today, reports Trump was intentionally provoking a world power.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: China has created the greatest theft in the history of the United States.

HAYES: The high stakes of Donald Trump`s first global feud as president- elect.

Plus, what was Al Gore doing at Trump Tower today? Tonight, my exclusive interview with the former vice president on his talks with Donald Trump and calls to ditch the Electoral College.

Then, Senator Sherrod Brown on why he`s troubled by the Ben Carson pick for HUD. The massive victory for activists against the Dakota pipeline, and making sense of today`s astonishing mistrial in South Carolina when ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. 46 days until he`s sworn in as President of the United States, Donald Trump is back to one of his signature moves from the campaign trail, engaging in a public feud. During the campaign, Trump feuded with everyone from an ex-beauty queen to a federal judge, from a Goldstar family, to his republican rivals, to the elder statesman of his own party. And feuds have been part Trump`s tabloid fuelled reality star persona going back years. Just think of his long-time beef with Rosie O`Donnell. In every case, Trump`s M.O. is the same, never give ground, never back down, never surrender.

In this case, however, the object of his ire is not a private individual or a political opponent. It`s the nation of China. Nuclear-armed power with a population of almost 1.4 billion, the world`s second largest economy after the U.S., both our number one trading partner and the largest owner of U.S. debt. In fighting this battle, Trump may be rewriting decades of delicate American foreign policy on China whether he means to or not. This all started on Friday when the Financial Times broke the news the president-elect had taken a congratulatory phone call from the President of the Taiwan. No American president or president-elect has had contact with Taiwan`s leader since 1979 when the U.S. formally established diplomatic relations with the People`s Republic of China, adopting what`s known as the One China Policy. "The United States of America recognizes the government of the People`s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China."

China views an independent democratically elected as a existential threat. From the U.S. to recognize Taiwan could destabilize an already fraught relationship. Now, amid the ensuing (INAUDIBLE) Trump had a choice, downplay the call or declare he`s taking U.S.-China relations in a new direction. And initially, he seemed to go with the former, tweeting after the news broke, "The President of Taiwan called me today to wish me congratulations on winning the presidency. Thank you." On Sunday shows, his vice president and chief of staff, argued everyone was reeling too much into the phone call.


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC MEET THE PRESS DAILY HOST: So, this was an intentional, sort of, challenge to the foreign policy establishment a little bit to the U.S.-Chinese diplomatic establishment?

PENCE: No, this was -- Chuck, this was a courtesy call. The democratically-elected President of Taiwan called to congratulate the president-elect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, courtesy call, not a change in policy?



HAYES: The Chinese government took a similar approach. Its foreign minister saying, quote, "This is only a little trick put up by Taiwan. I don`t think the U.S. government will change the One China Policy." But negative coverage of the call seems to have gotten under Trump`s skin as it so often seems to, and yesterday, he followed up with a couple of tweets striking a very different tone. "Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency, making it hard for our companies to compete, heavily tax our products going into their country? The U.S. doesn`t tax them, or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don`t think so."

Meanwhile, Washington Post reports citing anonymous leaks that Trump`s Taiwan call wasn`t just a courtesy, it was the result of long-term planning by some of his advisers, part of a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan. And according to people involved, a tough opening line with China. This is not the first evidence we`ve seen of such strategy. The day before the election, two of Trump`s advisers published an op-ed calling for a more confrontational stance towards the People`s Republic of China and more U.S. support for Taiwan`s democratically-elected government. Well, those are bedrock neoconservative principles held by some of the very same people who insisted toppling Saddam Hussein would bring democracy to the Middle East, same people that Trump stood against during Republican Primary, slamming George W. Bush and his advisers and claiming falsely, that he had opposed the Iraq war from the start.

One of those people, for example, was John Bolton, who was W`s U.N. ambassador and met with the president-elect at Trump Tower on friday. the following day, he shared his thoughts on the Taiwan call in an interview on Fox News.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: My view has been for some time that we should be upgrading our relations with Taiwan. And I know that`s going to cause heartburn in Beijing, but it`s a reality. This is a nation of over 20 million people. They have a democratic government, a free press, a free market. Honestly, I think we should shake this relationship up.


HAYES: Today, China`s communist party government appear to revised its initial response, publishing a front page editorial in the international addition of its official organ, The People`s Daily, which described the call as quote, "Nothing but a despicable and petty move," and warned, I`m quoting again, "Trump and his transition team should realize that making trouble for China-U.S. ties is making trouble for themselves."

I`m joined now by Anthony Scaramucci, an advisor of Donald Trump, a member of the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. And Anthony, it seems to me, that there`s two ways to sort of interpret this. One, is that this wasn`t a big deal, it was a courtesy call, the president-elect took it. The others said no, this is a actually the marker for a different direction, a new tact towards this very difficult fraught relationship. But it can`t be both, right? So, which is it?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: Well, it`s -- listen, it`s the former, and I think what`s very necessary to say right now that there`s no deviation in the United States` policy as it relates to China. However, OK, we are a free country, and when you have a democratically-elected leader in Taiwan calling in to the president-elect and he accepts the call, and they have a gracious conversation, we really shouldn`t read much more into it than that. He took 50 calls like that while he`s traveling around the country, saving jobs at Carrier and doing all these other things, Chris. So, for me, I think we`re sort of all blowing it out of proportion in the media. Now, let me just finish, because I think it`s important because I want to address his tweets.


SCARAMUCCI: He`s basically saying in his tweets that since 1979, we have sort of followed suit and followed protocol, yet the Chinese sort of haven`t, right? They went out into the South China Sea, they saw the name China, they think it`s their sea, and they`re building, you know, military facilities out there. And so, the president-elect is just letting people know that he`s paying attention to this sort of stuff, and there should be symmetry and there should be peace and prosperity in this relationship, but both sides have to recognize that, not just the United States. And I think that`s the message of the president-elect`s tweets.

HAYES: So, let me ask you this, I mean, so I just want to be clear on this, because there`s -- you know, if you say, look, this was a courtesy call and he accepted, that`s one thing, but there is reporting that says it was a staff around the president-elect that arranged the call, that the staff around the president-elect are people who have a long-standing belief that the trajectory of American policy towards Taiwan and China should be altered. Are those reports incorrect?

SCARAMUCCI: OK. So, you know, listen, I don`t know who those people from The Washington Post are talking to, but the people I talked to today would say that that stuff is incorrect. Was a call incoming and then was the president-elect prepared for that call in that intermediate few minutes? Absolutely. I don`t think it was planned out and premeditated for months like The Washington Post suggests. But again, let me just finish, to me, I think that you guys are trying to focus on something by saying he`s thin- skinned and all of this sort of stuff, like going back to the campaign. Let`s focus on what the president-elect is doing for the American people over the last three or four weeks. He`s had a wonderfully dignified process of interviewing some of the best people in the United States and the most talented people in the United States for all of these different jobs that he has to fill.

The calls are coming in, Chris. I`m -- he`s a pretty polite, very gracious, charming guy, and he took the call. And so, what Vice-President Pence was saying over the weekend and what I`m saying live right now on your show is that`s the sign of a diplomat and someone that`s very gracious. It`s not a deviation in China policy. But let`s make sure there`s symmetry to this policy. That`s what we`re saying from the transition team.

HAYES: Sure. But what you -- I guess here`s my point, right, so you`re saying we`re trying to gin up the (INAUDIBLE) and this is a fit of pique, and I`m happy to be told that`s not the case. I`m actually honestly trying to get my head around what is happening here, right, because there`s a few different ways. What you just said when you were interpreting the president-elect`s tweets, frankly, was more diplomatic than the tweets themselves. I mean, the president-elect himself could have said, "Look, this is an important relationship that has gotten out of balance and needs to be restored to some symmetry." He didn`t say that. He went on a broad side against China. I mean --

SCARAMUCCI: But that`s not his -- but Chris, that`s -- first of all, that`s not the president-elect`s personality or his style. He likes tweeting, he likes tweeting for dramatic effect, and I also think that he likes to set people-like-you`s hair on fire with some of those tweets. So, to me, I would just say to you don`t let your hair go on fire. There`s no deviation in China policy from President-elect Trump, or from the incoming administration.

HAYES: So, respectfully, though, I guess that`s part of my point, right? So, my hair is not on fire now. I`m fine. I guess the worry or the concern at least, right, is that he does clearly sort of enjoy kind of violating taboos that he thinks are not worthwhile, right, and the kind of gasp that can elicit some -- from some folks. And you know what, he`s probably correct that some of those taboos shouldn`t be there. I will even conceive that. I guess the worry (INAUDIBLE) is that that`s read differently by, say, nuclear armed China with 1.4 billion people and there`s some real diplomatic fallout that might come from it.

SCARAMUCCI: We`ve had some terrific meetings with Chinese diplomats from China, also sovereign wealth fund people. We`re going to have a great relationship with China.


SCARAMUCCI: All the president-elect is saying is that we`ve got to create fairness in that relationship. And I said something recently to one of the sovereign wealth fund people that came in. At the end of the day, the last hope for globalism is that we fix the problem in the middle class and the working class of the United States. And you and I have talked about that.

HAYES: Sure.

SCARAMUCCI: We fix that problem and we create a redo on that burgeoning market of consumption, that`s going to be phenomenal for China and for the rest of the world. And so, we want to have a great relationship with China as we do with all the other nations, but what we don`t want to do is blow something out of proportion, which was a congratulatory phone call that the incoming president who is a very gracious guy took from the President of Taiwan.

HAYES: All right. Anthony Scaramucci, thanks for coming on. Come back any time, all right?

SCARAMUCCI: I appreciate it, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Joining me now, John Harwood, political writer for New York Times and Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC. And you think Mr. Scaramucci quite diplomatic and also trying to say basically the kind of Pence (INAUDIBLE) line.


HAYES: Well, I mean, look, again, you know, it is true -- I mean, one of thing is funny, I was talking to a friend of mine -- a friend of mine who worked at the State Department. They were saying, you know, I`m just imaging the freakout that`s happening at Foggy Bottom. Because folks, they say, tend to be quite rule-bound, quite bureaucratic, one might even say sometimes sclerotic, right? And there`s probably a whole lot of dos and don`ts in that building but maybe you should reassess. But this has real big implications, right?

HARWOOD: I think so. And I got to say, it seems to me that Anthony was describing it in a way that doesn`t seem to fit the emerging reality of the situation.

HAYES: Right.

HARWOOD: That is to say that it does appear to have been purposeful, and republicans with a lot more experience, dealing with foreign policy than you, me or Anthony have characterized it as a purposeful call. I talked to Ari Fleischer, for example, George W. Bush`s Press Secretary. He said that, "I welcome this so long as it`s on purpose," and I think it was, because the status quo needs to be changed in the U.S.-China relationship. I don`t believe this was an accident. I don`t believe that the President of Taiwan was cold calling the president, and the president then picked -- oh, I just happened to pick up the phone. No. I think it was on purpose. And the only question is, is this something that will be seen in retrospect as a high and tight Aroldis Chapman fastball, or is this something that actually triggers a brawl with consequences?

HAYES: Well, let`s -- here`s Steven Moore. I think you`re right. I mean, I think we`ve seen any partisans sort of falling in line, Tom Cotton immediately supporting it. Jon Huntsman who may be auditioning for Secretary of State, whose not viewed as a China hawk. I think he was ambassador to China, basically saying, I think that was OK.

HARWOOD: Just like Bolton did.

HAYES: Exactly. And here`s Stephen Moore who`s on the Trump economic team. Here`s what he had to say.

STEPHEN MOORE, ECONOMIC WRITER AND POLICY ANALYST: Taiwan is our ally, John. That is a country that we have backed because they believe in Freedom. And we ought to back our ally, and if China doesn`t like it, screw them.

HAYES: We should -- I mean, that`s -- so, it (INAUDIBLE) like screw them or is, you know, it`s tough talk. We should also say there`s a longstanding kind of ideological vain here, typically among neoconservatives in the Republican Party who feel that confrontation with China are more confrontational posture is needed, that we`ve been too soft on them for a long time. And it`s sort of amazing to see that ideological strain, which is a real developed thing, gain a foothold this early.

HARWOOD: Well, sure. And then gain a foothold in his choice of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. You know, the attitude is, yeah, we`re going to break some eggs, and they should be broken. And again, you -- I haven`t sense from democratic foreign policy experts, any conviction that this is harmful in and of itself.

HAYES: Right.

HARWOOD: It depends on what --

HAYES: What it augurs.

HARWOOD: Right. And does China then go about flexing its muscles militarily around Taiwan and is there a provocation, and do we respond to the provocation. But if it`s signalling it`s a new day, it may not be that big a deal.

HAYES: All right. John Harwood, thank you very much, appreciate it.

HARWOOD: You bet.

HAYES: Still to come, my exclusive interview with former Vice President Al Gore, following his surprise visit to Trump Tower. This afternoon, I`ll ask him about his meeting with Donald Trump, why he`s still optimistic about the (INAUDIBLE) climate (INAUDIBLE) about his opinion that the Electoral College has to go.

Plus, Donald Trump picks a man he often -- once accused of having a, quote, "Pathological disease" to join his incoming cabinet. I`ll talk with Senator Sherrod Brown about Dr. Ben Carson`s new appointment after this two-minute break.


HAYES: Donald Trump today made a long-anticipated announcement of his newest cabinet pick, tapping Dr. Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now, there are two main concerns being voiced today about the Carson pick. First, he has no real working experience to do the job. And second, Carson`s own adviser essentially said he isn`t up to it. Just a few weeks ago, Carson`s confidant, former Campaign Advisor Armstrong Williams told NBC News that Carson wouldn`t be qualified to run a government agency. He told The Hill specifically, quote, "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he`s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."

And that same day, Ben Carson himself gave an interview to The Washington Post saying, he would only consider a cabinet position if Trump absolutely needed him. Adding with a chuckle, "Having me as a federal bureaucrat would be like a fish out of water, quite frankly." The other reason, although Dr. Carson had an amazingly accomplish career in medicine, he has zero public policy experience in the field of say, housing and urban development. And yet, he could soon be leading an agency of 8400 employees with a budget of nearly $50 billion. Some democrats were quick to condemn the appointment, including my next guest, Senator Sherrod Brown, a ranking member of the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. And senator, you put out as a pretty critical to skeptical statement about Dr. Carson. What`s your concern?

SHERROD BROWN, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Well, my concern starts with the boss. I mean, president -- the first -- Donald Trump (INAUDIBLE) his first interaction with the federal government was when the Nixon administration Justice Department found him guilty, and came to an agreement, a settlement on housing discrimination, so Donald Trump has been, you know, the birther, as the one we know the most about how he said Barack Obama wasn`t born here, but he actually many, many years ago was found guilty. And with housing discrimination and not renting to African-Americans and on the eight -- his new HUD appointee sort of seems to share that philosophy, that`s my first concern.

Second, is I want to see -- I don`t know how qualified he will be and how much he knows, but I`ve never heard him talk about how we provide more housing to particularly moderate income people. My -- the neighborhood, my wife and I live in in Cleveland 44105 had more foreclosures than any zip code in the United States in 2007. There are a whole lot of renters and the price has gone up. They spend 50 percent of their income -- their disposable income in rent. We`ve got to find a way to provide more moderate, affordable -- moderate-priced, affordable housing. And I`ve heard no ideas out of this administration. I`m hopeful that Mr. -- Dr. Carson will come forward with some ideas. I haven`t seen them yet.

HAYES: I just want to clarify. One, something you said in the first part of an answer when you talked about the finding of the U.S. government, that Trump was in violation of Federal Civil Rights, he was not renting to African-Americans. You said his appointee agrees with that, you don`t mean agreeing not renting to African-Americans, you mean that you don`t see him as a strong voice for enforcement?

BROWN: Yeah. I`ve seen him show no interest in enforcement and no real interest in housing. But, you know, I`m a ranking member of the banking committee. He`ll come in front of my committee with Chairman Crapo. I`m open-minded about what he`s going to say and do, but I think it does start at the top and there`s nothing out of this campaign that says we need to provide more affordable housing. We have to find ways to help people avoid foreclosure who have been paying their rent and maybe lose their jobs for a period of time. And new housing -- and if you don`t -- if you don`t -- that the economy never comes back strong enough if you don`t provide -- if the housing doesn`t contribute to it and it`s not contributed in this recovery the way it needs to.

HAYES: You had this quote about democratic senators`, sort of, posture towards appointments in the cabinet. You said, they`ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice, referring to Merrick Garland, who`s sat 300 days without being confirmed. "We`re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified? It`s not obstruction, it`s not partisan, it`s just a duty to find out what they do in these jobs." What`s your -- what`s your approach here?

BROWN: Well, my approach is -- take potential Secretary Carson. I want to know what he`s going to do on housing, what he`s going to do on housing discrimination, what he`s going to do on section 8, what he`s going to do on new market tax credit, what his -- what`s he going to in the old hand program, what`s he going to do provide moderate income housing to low- income people with the potential sector of health and human services who`s built his whole career on raising the eligibility age for Medicare and privatization of Medicare. I want to ask what he`s going to do. We are in no way should just confirm these nominees without any questions. I mean, they have been out of the mainstream of this country on Medicare, on housing discrimination, on civil rights, on voting rights.

His nominees have simply not then part of what 70, 80, 90 percent of Americans believe. I`ll be damned if we should just step up and say, OK, we`ll cooperate. We`ll just going to confirm, we don`t have time to ask him questions. Let him get to work. No, that`s not the way. It`s rising consent. I want to know what they`re going to do for Ohio, what they`re going to do for Cleveland, what they`re going to do for small towns like Mansfield and (INAUDIBLE) and Lima.

HAYES: All right. Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

BROWN: Glad to do it, thanks.

HAYES: Still to come, my exclusive interview with former Vice President Al Gore on his call to abolish the Electoral College, and on his surprise visit to Trump Tower to talk climate with the President-elect.


GORE: It was a very intelligent exchange. It was a search for common ground. I was happy to have the opportunity and happy with the exchange of views.



HAYES: One of the most spirited and remarkable, sustained acts of civil disobedience from recent memory is still unfolding. The Cannon Ball, North Dakota where indigenous people of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other protesters are fighting to keep a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline from running beneath a reservoir near a reservation. Protesters celebrated yesterday when the assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works announced it would not grant a permit for that portion of the pipeline and that alternate routes needed to be explored. Hundreds of veterans recently joined in the protest and even blizzard conditions did not drive protesters away. Keenly aware of this fight is far from over, a recent decision could be reversed by the incoming president Donald Trump, who`s expressed support for the pipeline project. Trump, we should note, also owns stock in energy transfer partners, that`s the company overseeing the pipeline project, but has now sold his stake in that company according to a spokeswoman speaking with NBC News.

Now, Donald Trump`s views on climate change, as a whole, are not very promising and seem to be, frankly, frighteningly uninformed. Which is why there`s perhaps cause for some hope today to see this man in the lobby of Trump Tower, Al Gore, will be my guest after this break.



GORE: I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the President-elect Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I`m just going to leave it at that. Thank you.



HAYES: Former Vice President Al Gore was in Trump Tower earlier today, meeting with the President-elect and his daughter Ivanka Trump. And joining me now is Al Gore, whose climate reality project is currently live streaming its sixth annual 24 hours of reality. And Mr. Vice President, let me start with your meeting today. I know, obviously, it`s not something you`re going to give us the blow by blow record of, but did you come away encouraged, terrified, or somewhere in between.

GORE: Well, it was -- it was very interesting. I do think it was productive. I`ve used some of these words before and I`m choosing them carefully in order to not give too many details and I hope you`ll understand that, Chris.

By the way, I really appreciate your personal coverage of the climate crisis. You`re one of the few that comes back to it over and over again and my own concern about it led me to this meeting today.

I was very grateful to be asked to come by for this 24 hours. I can see 30 Rock from where you`re sitting right now just across the river from Liberty State Park. And if folks want to see 24 hours of reality, thank you for mentioning it, it`s on the internet,

The meeting was a good one, I thought. We covered a lot of ground. The reason I`m not going into details may be obvious. I always protected the privacy of my conversations with President Clinton during the eight years I was vice president and I think the president-elect Donald Trump is entitled to that same courtesy.

I look forward to having other conversations and that`s yet another reason why I want to protect the privacy of it. It was a very intelligent exchange. It was a search for common ground. And in answer to your question, I felt good about the meeting.

Of course, we`re in this wait and see period but I was very -- I was happy to have the opportunity and happy with the exchange of views.

HAYES: You know, as you do this year`s climate reality, 24-hour live stream, it`s a real important moment, every moment for the climate has been important but this is a really key one, some real progress has been made, whether it`s the bilateral deal with China, the Paris accords, the EPA ruling which has been held up in the courts.

I mean, all of that appears to be undoable or maybe not. I wonder what you think of how high the risk is of all of that being essentially erased.

GORE: No, I think the momentum is unstoppable now. We`re winning this. We`re going to win it. There is a serious question as to how fast we will win it and that`s crucial because we`re adding another 110 million tons today of manmade global warming pollution and it`s building up and I won`t give you the parade of horribles, you know them very well, but it`s a very serious threat to the future of our civilization.

That sounds apocalyptic and some people kind of push it away and say I don`t want to think about that, but we have an obligation to our kids, our grandkids, ourselves because we`re seeing the increased frequency and severity of these extreme weather events, the sea level rising accelerating, et cetera, et cetera.

And here is the most exciting part, Chris, the cost of renewable energy and efficiency with the digital tools industry and business and all of us have now, is actually bringing emissions down. We can win this and create jobs and opportunity in the process.

And one other thing, you`re right, Paris was a big deal, but since Paris -- you know, Paris was designed in part to send a powerful signal to business industry civil society. The good news since then -- you saw it in Morocco earlier a few weeks ago, you saw it at the C-40, the big cities conference in Mexico City last week, that signal has been received very powerfully.

The mood worldwide is completelychanged now.

HAYES: Is that really true?

GORE: Investors are changing.

HAYES: That`s really true? Because I feel like when you`re looking at geopolitics, the mood worldwide is between Brexit and Donald Trump, the rise of the right-wing nationalist parties in Europe that want to either withdraw from the EU or sort of regain some kind of sovereignty they feel they have lost,

There`s this kind of darkness hanging over people`s assessment of the current geopolitical situation.

GORE: Yeah, but it`s a mistake just to say darkness covering everything.

You know, look, we`ve seen these twin trends -- hyper globalization with outsourcing, flinging jobs to low-wage environments, and the addition of increasingly effective forms of artificial intelligence to automation which is overturning a few centuries of economic theory and leading to the conclusion that maybe intelligent automation is actually destroying more jobs than it`s creating.

These two things together are hollowing out the middle class in countries around the world. And because the returns from the investment of labor and capital and resources is now going much more to the owners of technology capital, inequality is rising simultaneously and these things have all contributed to the end of an era and searching for a new kind of -- a new blueprint, a new path forward.

But it`s not true that the populist uprising is directed against renewable energy, quite to the contrary. In Florida, for example, at the same time Trump -- Donald Trump was winning the state handily, the fossil fuel burning utility was losing badly and did lose a constitutional amendment to try to stop solar.

Solar installations are just exploding all over the world -- probably the wrong metapho. They are increasing so dramatically. And the cost is coming down so rapidly. The latest world record contract, 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour, that is just about half of the cost of producing electricity from coal. And it`s crossing that grid parity line to become cheaper than coal electricity and gas electricity in region after region, country after country. And it`s continuing to come down in cost.

And the internet of things, and the new digital tools I mentioned earlier, are giving businesses and industries and homeowners fantastic new opportunities to decrease consumption without hurting the quality of life, saving on their energy bills at the same time that the emissions are being reduced.

So I think the sustainability revolution worldwide is now -- it`s becoming clear, it`s on par with the agricultural and industrial revolution, it has that scope. But with the speed of the information and digital revolution. It`s just sweeping the world.

We`re going to meet the targets in the U.S. almost regardless of what policies the incoming administration adopts. But, as I`ve said before, I don`t think it`s Pollyanna-ish or naive to believe that we can expect more than what we fear.

And I do think that this uprising of support for energy independence not only at a national level but at a homeowner level, give us the chance to put the solar panels up there. We don`t want to be just continually fleeced by these old coal burning, gas burning utilities, we want energy choices.

Go ahead.

HAYES: Without sort of betraying confidences from your meeting, I mean, you met with two people today. You met with Donald Trump and you met with Ivanka and there had been some ideas floated that she would be a climate czar or et cetera. She and her husband, obviously, have contributed a lot to Democrats in the past financially.

Did you get a sense from her where she is on the kind of basic consensus view on climate?

GORE: Well, again, forgive me for protecting the confidence of the conversations, but it`s no secret that Ivanka Trump is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world and that was certainly evident in the conversation that I had with her before the conversation with the president-elect and I`m -- you know, I appreciate the fact that she is very concerned about this.

And I very much appreciate the opportunity I had to have a meaningful and productive conversation with the president-elect.

HAYES: Let me ask you this on politics, because sometimes when I think about the trajectory of climate policy in the U.S., there`s of course Kyoto in 2000 and George W. Bush. And we`ve had seven elections in which -- in the United States which Democrats have won the majority of the popular vote, six of those seven times and achieved the presidency only four of those seven.

You obviously are one of the people that fate befell in 2000 when you won the popular vote by about 500,000 votes. Hillary Clinton has now won it by a somewhat staggering margin, actually -- 2 percentage points, 2.6, 2.7 million votes. You think -- you`ve come to the belief we should get rid of the electoral college. What got you there? And do you think it`s possible?

GORE: Well, first of all, even after the Supreme Court decision in 2000, I did continue to support the electoral college for some of the same reasons the founders laid out two and a quarter centuries ago -- it does bind the states together.

And it`s not a simplistic choice all clear one way, all wrong the other way. I think it`s a balancing test.

For me personally in the last couple of years I`ve come to the conclusion that the balance has shifted and my own way of thinking about it partly because I do think that we would have a chance to really increase participation in our democracy if we went to a popular vote. We should combine it with action to fix this terrible redistricting.


GORE: --travesty that biases the House of Representatives elections. And, of course, even though it`s difficult, we need to get big money out of politics.

Our democracy has been hacked. Big money now does so often call the shots and that`s really destructive to our democracy.

I think if we took those three steps, we could actually bring our democracy back to life. At the moment, when we`re seeing the invigoration of internet-based forms of democratic discourse, with all of the problems -- fake news and all of the rest, I do think that it still does hold out the promise of reinvigorating the promise of America and allowing us to once again harvest the wisdom of crowds because we are way smarter together than the smartest people among us and that`s what made us the greatest nation on earth, when we were able to make better decisions by using our representative democracy.

It has not been serving us well recently because it`s been hacked by special interests, big money contributors, the politicians and candidates spend all of their money begging rich people and special interests for money. It`s a terrible development and we have to fix that.

But I do think that shifting to the popular vote would be a way to do it.

Now, you also asked do I think it will happen. You know, constitutional amendments are very tough but, you know, there is this interesting state compact movement that began in California that is another way to accomplish the same result. I actually think they have a real chance of succeeding. It will take a little time, but I`d be surprised if we did not eventually shift to a popular vote for president over the next decade or so.

HAYES: That`s national popular vote. You can look that up online.

Al Gore, what a great pleasure. Thanks so much for your time tonight. I really appreciate it.

GORE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, Al Gore isn`t the only high profile person to recently meet with Donald Trump and his daughter. New questions about why Ivanka Trump was in the room when the president-elect met with a foreign leader next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, the very first foreign leader to meet face-to- face with the President-elect Trump was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They met two-and-a-half weeks ago at Trump Tower, but the U.S. press pool was barred inexplicably from covering the meeting.

So it was not until the Japanese government itself released photos that we saw just who else was in there. Why it`s Ivank Trump.

This, of course prompted all kinds of speculation about what on Earth was the soon-to-be first daughter doing in a meeting between the president- elect and the Japanese prime minister.

Well, tonight we might have an anwer. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: The big question after President-elect Trump met with Japan`s prime minister last month wasn`t about what issues they discussed or what the meeting meant for Japanese/American relations going forward, it was why was Ivanka Trump in the meeting as well?

Could there be a conflict of interest with the family`s various businesses since she`s an executive at Trump Org?

Well, tonight some insight thanks to a lengthy article in The New York Times about the Trump children. And I quote, "Miss Trump is nearing a licensing deal with the Japanese apparel giant Sanei International. Both parties told The New York Times, the largest shareholder of Sanei`s parent company is the Development Bank of Japan which is wholly owned by the Japanese government."

Ivanka Trump has reportedly been negotiating with Sanei International for about two years now. We don`t know if that negotiation happened to come up at all when she met the Japanese prime minister at the president-elect`s home last month. We didn`t even know they were meeting because the American press was barred from the room.


HAYES: Today, a judge in South Carolina declared a mistrial in the case of Walter Scott, the unarmed black man killed last year in north Charleston by the white police officer who was tried, Michael Slager.

And Slater testified after the officer pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott took off running. Slater said he pursued Scott, and a scuffle ensued and that he feared for his life when he shot the 50-year-old Scott.

But cell phone video taken by a bystander clearly shows Slager killed Scott when Scott was running away. He posed no immediate threat to Officer Slager who shot Scott multiple times in the back and then dropped his taser near Scott`s body.

Now, we are going to show you a portion of the video now showing the moment where Slager killed Scott. It is graphic.


HAYES: The jury in the trial made up of 11 people and one black man had the option of convicting Slager of either murder or involuntary manslaughter. The prosecutor said after the mistrial was declared they planned to retry the officer who also faces a separate federal trial next year.


L. CHRIS STEWART, ATTORNEY FOR SCOTT FAMILY: Long five weeks and a missed opportunity for justice, missed opportunity to heal a lot of wounds in this country, a missed opportunity to remind the good officers that put on that badge that they aren`t Michael Slager.


HAYES: When we come back, the question the jury asked today in the Scot case before the mistrial was declared that provides I think a key insight into why police officers are so rarely convicted in the killing of unarmed black men. That`s next.


HAYES: Before the trial of police officer Michael Slager and the killing of Walter Scott ended in a mistrial today, despite a bystander video showing the officer shooting Walter Scott in the back as he ran away, one of the questions the jury asked was, is the idea of self-defense applied the same to a police officer as to an ordinary person?

Joining me now Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director counsel to the NAACP legal defense and educational fund.

And I thought that question was so illuminating, because the answer is, yes, it`s the same standard but what we see is that in practice it is an extremely different standard that juries come to.

SHERRILYN IFILL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: I mean, there`s so many ways in which the verdict in this case really shows precisely what the problem is where police officers are involved in these kinds of shootings.

You heard Michael Slager`s testimony. I mean, he knew what to say. I kept firing until I thought the danger was over. I felt I was under threat.

I mean, it`s almost a way in which there`s a story that you heard Darren Wilson, it`s kind of the same story as. And what you see are jurors really being unwilling to second-guess police officers, even at the point that they see a video like this, that once the officer uses the word threat or fear or danger and Slager used all of those words, it`s going to be very, very hard to get the jury to overcome what seems to be an instinct, certainly among white jurors, to believe police officers.

HAYES: We should be clear here, that it appears to be the case that of the 12 members of the jury there is basically one holdout here.

IFILL: Well, I don`t know that that`s actually true, last week that appeared to be true.

HAYES: That was what it looked like on Friday.

IFILL: Yes. But today, what the jurors suggested was that a majority of them could not come to the conclusion. So we don`t know anymore whether it was 11-1, whether that was in fact accurate last week, or whether something changed on Monday when they went back and deliberated.

It`s not clear that it was 11-1. It is clear that there were 11 white people on this jury and one African-American man, and that`s a systemic problem that needs to be dealt with for the retrial.

HAYES: Well, which struck me as somewhat odd because I was in North Charleston. North Charleston is an interesting place, a little like Ferguson, actually, in that it was a place that was -- had been majority white, suburb of Charleston, that has now since become majority black. I think it`s 60 percent to 40 percent. It is odd that that`s the jury composition.

IFILL: Well, yes--

HAYES: --of how this works.

IFILL: It`s not odd and the defense actually did strike I think seven of the nine jurors struck by the defense were minorities, five of them were African-American. I think two of them were Llatino. The prosecution did raise a challenge, challenging the striking of the jurors based on race and after hearing the explanations offered by the defense dropped it.

So we don`t know--

HAYES: Just to be clear so folks know, a Batson (ph) challenge is named for the plaintiff in a Supreme Court case in which the Supreme Court ruled it`s unconstitutional to use race solely, essentially, as the means of getting rid of a juror.

After Batson (ph), lawyers are able to give a non-racial reasoning for their strike.

IFILL: But, you know, people get around it all the time, both defense counsel and prosecutors. They say things that, you know, are often correlated with race, but it sounds non-racial. It`s not explicitly racial and so judges allow it.

But in the retrial, I mean, this is something that has to be looked at. And needs to be looked at. In a place like North Charleston. In North Charleston, the population is 47 percent African-America, in Charleston at-large it`s 35 percent African- American, there shouldn`t have been only one African-American person on that jury. But more important, Chris, is the way in which race is removed from these cases because the truth is when we talk about this idea of threat.

HAYES: And fear.

IFILL: And fear and danger, to not have any place within the context of a prosecution -- and this is one of the things that we`re working on at the Legal Defense Fund is thinking about this in terms of jury instructions and so forth, not to have anyplace in which we can explore whether or not that feeling of threat, fear or that that one is in imminent danger, even if one genuinely felt that, might in fact be created by either explicit or implicit bias means that we never get to the heart of this.

HAYES: And so what we have is a sort of subjective experience of fear as a sort of transcendently powerful tool to exculpate. And we see it time and time again.

Sherrilyn Ifill, it`s always a pleasure to to get a chance to talk to you. Thank you.

And I wanted to offer my condolences on the loss of your amazing cousin Gwen Ifill who is a national treasure.

IFILL: Thank you.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now with Ari Melber in for Rachel.